5 Reasons You Should Attend
With budgets still tight and the constant hassle of 3 oz. water bottles at the airport, a question we often here is: why in the world should I attend a face-to-face conference when I can just Google information about the profession?
Meetings are important! The truth is, the value in conferences comes from the person-to-person connections that take place. In all the evaluations done after a conference, an attendee’s interactions and conversations with other attendees ranks as the single most important and valuable aspect of attending a conference.
You won’t find this on an agenda, and it won’t be listed as a learning objective for the breakout sessions, but when two or more people begin to discuss topics on a deeper and personal level, the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable.
One of the greatest feelings in the world is seeing a tweet with the conference hashtag where someone says “It was great meeting you at the conference, let’s collaborate!” That sort of connection just doesn’t happen without getting to know someone in between sessions.
Here are the top five reasons you should attend the 2015 NASPA Annual Conference.
Networking with peers. The NASPA conference provides a great opportunity to network. Colleagues from other colleges and universities from around the world can become valuable resources for referrals and best-practices. Often people help each other discover new ideas and spark inspiration when they get to know each other on a personal level.
Educational opportunities. No matter how experienced you are at your job, everyone can learn something new. Without exposure to a variety of points of view you can miss new ideas and trends that can impact future results. Our wealth of formal educational sessions do just that, in addition to the informal growth that happens outside of these sessions!
Encounter new vendors and suppliers. Too often attendees shy away from the exhibit hall during the conference. Maybe you are not the decision maker; however, you can be the influencer. Discovering innovative products and services for your campus is necessary to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced world. Invest time with the exhibitors and sponsors during the conference and turn them into your friends and allies.
Position yourself as an expert. When you are active in the profession, you can develop a reputation as an expert to your peers. Those who are engaged over the long term are often asked to present a session at the conference, write articles for NASPA publications, and be a resource to others.
Have fun. Being in the student affairs profession should be rewarding and fun. All work and no play can get old fast. The NASPA Annual Conference can add a layer of enjoyment to managing your career growth by mixing a social aspect into your learning and professional branding efforts. The conference has fun activities outside of educational programs such as receptions, tours of the local area, community service projects, and so much more. Never underestimate the power of a little fun mixed with some interesting people!
These are just a few of the reasons for why attending the NASPA Annual Conference is such a rewarding experience. We hope you’ll join us in New Orleans, Louisiana, as we navigate the student affairs profession with courage, March 21-25, 2014.